What do you think? Can dissociation fuel creativity? Can depression and dissociation be a catalyst for art? At least in my life, dissociation and art are very intermingled.

I read some old journals today.

I look back now and I wish there was more of me in the pages I spent so much time tracking. Instead, I see shadows of a girl overpowered by a need for love and attachment. I wonder sometimes if she was as happy as she believed, because the words and stories she tells are fluffy and lack reality.

And then I look at me now.

I feel detached from my previous self, as though I never knew her — let alone was her. But I feel so solidly me. I grasp for the meaning of these feelings, sensing an important message from my soul’s root, but it’s too deep for me to bring into words.

I feel it though, climbing up like a tree’s branches, wrapping around my bones and drawing me rigid and strong. It sounds depressing when I put it in words, but it smells of ancestors and rich soil; it tastes of spring’s air and smooth cream. There’s a sweetness in this detachment — a mark of victory in my sadness.

When I find myself in these moments, I feel completely detached from myself; but this depression and dissociation is a catalyst for my art. Dissociation fuels creativity; I can’t feel so I have to express.

Perhaps it’s the development of wisdom.

I have loved humanity;
I have been betrayed by humanity;
I have loved humanity more deeply
by knowing her cruelty.

There’s darkness in the world
I refused to accept as a child.

I feel old
in the evening.
When the sun sets.
When the rest of the world
goes to bed.

I feel the gray
hairs sprouting, and the wrinkles
carving themselves into my face.

I watch the smoothness of my skin dapple and splotch.

It was only a
moment
ago I wondered if
I
would ever feel like an adult.

How I have aged today
, this year
, the last

It’s like there are two levels to my emotions.

The surface emotions — and by surface I mean those I actively FEEL, not those that I only express to others — are happy. I feel productive. I feel powerful. I feel joyous and capable and headed in the right direction. I feel loved and connected, supported and accepted, at peace with who I am and excited for who I am becoming. I won’t lie and say I never feel stressed or upset; life is life, and that means sometimes I feel bad. But these bad moments pass quickly, and I feel resilient in handling them.

But it’s almost as if below this emotional well-being lurks a torrent of deep sadness, insecurity, apathy, and anxiety. For the most part, it doesn’t even seem to exist, but if I’m really quiet or think really hard, I can feel its vibrations in the pit of my stomach. And sometimes, when a particularly stressful bad moment makes me cry or clench my muscles, it breaks free.

It flows from my neck down like a crystal weighted waterfall, numbing my muscles and leaving only the thoughts in my head. Thinking of it now, I can almost feel it — the deadened limbs I recognize but barely feel, the cold irrational thoughts of giving up and letting — not of the world, but of myself. The small voice in the back of my head wondering what the hell is going on with me and how long it will be before the real me is back.

When it comes, I feel like I need to sing or write or somehow express the depth of this nasty creature inside of me — as if exposing it to sunlight will make it wilt away.

When it leaves, I wonder if it’s possible to transform it into something good and powerful. Because on the other side of it is hope.

I don’t know how, but there’s beauty in it, something base and human and glorious. And even when it feels ugly, I can’t help but see the poetry in it.


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